Palmchat

About Palmchat

Small bird with stout, pointed bill, short wings and long tail. Color of upperparts grayish-white to olive-brown, with darker head; wings yellowish-green; rump dark green; underparts yellowish-white, striped with dark brown; legs blackish; bill brownish; eyes brown.

Breeding takes place in March to June. As many as 30 pairs make a large communal nest up to 3.3 feet (1m) long made of twigs, usually woven around trunk and bases of the fronds high in a royal palm tree. Some will nest in pines. Pairs make small nests. Pairs have separate nest entrances and nest chambers, thinly lined with fine grass and shredded bark. The female will lay 4 eggs, heavily spotted with dark purplish gray.

The Palmchat is the only member of its family and is found on just two Caribbean islands.

This bird spends almost all of its time up in the trees. The birds rest and roost in nests all year long. They perch so close sometimes that their bodies touch.

Palmchats are generally very noisy and are among the most conspicuous birds on the islands of Hispaniola.

Their nest can be as large as a stork’s nest and can be made up of very large sticks for the size of this bird. But this size nest gives the eggs and young effective protection from predators.